A protest by tens of thousands of people across Haiti turned violent Wednesday as anger grows over the alleged misuse of funds from an oil assistance program sponsored by Venezuela.
Gunshots rang out while protesters threw rocks, blocked roads and burned tires to demand more transparency in how the government uses funds from Petrocaribe. The program provides below-market financing for oil for several countries in the region.
“We are protesting so we can come out of misery,” said Jean-Robert Roland as he marched through the streets of Port-au-Prince. “The country is in a hole, and the government keeps stealing our money.”
Radio station Zenith 102.5 FM reported that one person was fatally shot in the southwest coastal town of Les Cayes and several wounded. The station also reported that a government office in the northern town of Cap-Haitien was set on fire and one person was shot in the leg. There was no immediate official confirmation of the reports.